In an effort to encourage public dialogue and critical thinking, the University of Arizona Center for Latin American Studies will screen what are considered the best documentary films on border issues – for free.
The Center for Latin American Studies recently was awarded an Arizona Humanities Council grant to promote the Borderlands Community Film Series.
Together with the Hanson Film Institute and the Consulado de Mexico en Tucson, the center will screen eight films over as many months in the community of South Tucson at El Pueblo Neighborhood Center and Harkins Spectrum Theater.
All events will include discussions with filmmakers or experts and are free and open to the public.
Linda Green, director of the center, said the series is specifically being shown in South Tucson and at the Harkins Theater to provide greater access to UA campus-based events for members of the South Tucson and surrounding communities.
The film series kicked off on Sept. 7 with visiting director Luis Argueta and his film, "Abused: the Postville Iowa Raid," at the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center. On Sept. 22, director Carlos Hagerman will screen his film, "Los Que Se Quedan/Those Who Remain," at the Harkins Theater at 6 p.m.
"Los Que Se Quedan/Those Who Remain" is an intimate and discerning depiction of the impact of migration on families and villages left behind by loved ones who have traveled north for work. It is a film about those families who have crossed the border to the U.S. in search of better opportunities.
The Student Union Art Gallery also is hosting a "Los Que Se Quedan/Those Who Remain" photography exhibit depicting the dozen families filmmakers spent 11 months with for the documentary.
The film series will include the award-winning work of international directors as well as local filmmakers such as Luis Carlos Romero Davis – "389 Miles" and Eren McGinnis and Ari Palos: "Beyond the Border" and "Precious Knowledge."
The series explores complex issues such as the world of narcocorridos (songs favored by narco gangs) in Natalia Almada's film, "Al Otro Lado/To the Other Side." Director Lucia Gaja focuses her work on an undocumented Mexican woman on trial in the U.S. for the death of a child she was paid to care for in "Mi Vida Dentro/My Life Inside."
The film, "Farmingville," examines the attempted murder of two migrants in Long Island and questions the reality of the American Dream.
The selected films are composed mainly of the Indocumentales series, organized by Cinema Tropical, and have been screened at New York University, University of Wisconsin, Madison and elsewhere.
By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University Communications, September 20, 2011